The NSK Neustadt Prize: Gene Luen Yang

A photograph of Gene Luen Yang drawing a monkey on a plate of glass
Photo by Shevaun Williams |

Gene Luen Yang (b. 1973) began making comics and graphic novels in the fifth grade. In 2006 his book American Born Chinese, published by First Second Books, became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album – New.

In 2013 First Second released Boxers & Saints, his two-volume graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion. Boxers & Saints was nominated for a National Book Award and won the LA Times Book Prize. He has done a number of other comics, including Dark Horse Comics’ continuation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender and DC Comics’ Superman! His latest book, Lunar New Year Love Story, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is forthcoming in January 2024.

In addition to cartooning, he teaches creative writing through Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. In 2016 the Library of Congress, Every Child a Reader, and the Children’s Book Council appointed Yang the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Winner of the 2023 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature

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